It is the game that everyone born in the 90s grew up with. You may be thinking, well we didn’t have phones back then. And you are right. Old School Runescape is a re-release of its 2007 build, after the “evolution of combat” update disrupted the active player base on the now current version of the game Runescape 3. Its much like WoWs classic servers being re-launched, but they got the idea from us.
The game is currently on mobile and is going as hard now as it was in the glory days.
You may have tried this game from being suggested by a friend, or as a good MMO. And you probably went ahead and tried it, finding that you aren’t really reaching the same conclusion. Yet here is this subsection of the internet dedicated to this game, who speak about the game with such passion, and are almost shy knowing you won’t understand it. To understand why the player base loves the game so much, you will have to go back with me through history.
Where it all began
Runescape is a tabletop conversion into a 3d environment. Your combat is based on dice rolls, which scale on your skills. In the photo above is Runescape classic, and this is the origins. Eventually, it got updated with better graphics and some mechanic changes. The time frame most of us played was in 2006 where the max gear stopped at around tier 75. The player base was young. Most of us in middle school or high school around the time. I started in fifth grade and I’m 26 now, which is about what everyone else is. Male mid-twenties, off at uni or working hard.
The thing is the game expects you to be… Well one of us. And generalizing the player base and views on how to play isn’t very dishonest. You should know everything, and be achieving to get as many ehp (efficient hours played, a unit of measurement used on a third party high score page crystalmathlabs.com where you receive additional high score placement for achieving skill rates only obtainable by being as tick perfect as possible). When we first played the game it wasn’t like that though, we were essentially… You, wandering around aimlessly only to get sniped by the dark wizards at Varrock’s entrance or trying to figure out how to get flour for the cooks assistant. A lot of gaming has changed since then and new users have to compete with games where you get rewards the second you log in. RuneScape isn’t about that though.
What you can do to ‘get into it’
So this is where we are at. You were not bitten by the bug of Runescape as a kid. You do not have the same nostalgic rush when you hear Sea Shanty 2 as we get. You see the game for what it is. A lot of clicking and waiting. What if I told you that you can put in more actions to be able to satisfy your brain?
The mechanics of the game all come down to ticks. Weapons have attack speed based on these ticks, certain foods have different cooldown periods, and you can stack a few actions in the tick if you are fast enough. So this means when you hit late game and have more gear, and weapons available to you You can start stacking in more actions instead of just sitting there waiting for the monster to die. The same can be done with skilling, there are competitive players who go for best exp per hour as mentioned above. To achieve this you almost have to develop an internal metronome, and literally feel each tick in-game pass by. You throw yourself into that grove and maintain it as long as possible. When you are playing this game just blindly from someone recommending it you I want to make it clear you are not playing the same game as that person. You are still playing it as if we are kids, which many of us wish we could go back and relive. A lot of what’s stopping you from playing like they are Is just pure lack of knowledge.
The best thing you can do is get involved with the community. Watch some SWAMPELETICS on youtube, browse the wiki whenever you need to know something. Join someone’s clan chat and just start asking questions. Old School Runescape has some of the most friendly and helpful to new players. (not so much existing ones) Often if you just ask someone where a npc is, or how to equip goblin mail someone will not only help you out, but often go by the grand exchange and hook you up with a rune scimitar, and some mithril armour to get you started. I am not over exaggerating on that last part, Old School Runescape has a begging problem because people like having drop parties, or giving new players free items. If you go to the grand exchange, you will think you are in LA for a second with the number of panhandlers there asking for free stuff, or offering to dance for gold.
Where Old School Runescape currently stands?
Old School Runescape has been going on over 5 years now, and we get weekly updates, we have a poll system that requires content to pass a 75% threshold of community acceptance to be able to come into the game. There are also QnA live streams every week on twitch, along with the Reddit r/2007scape. To be able to learn everything in the game by yourself will be impossible. You need to be in a clan chat, or frequent 2007scape a little to be able to keep up. This may sound like a chore, but this is kind of the way its always been, you may even enjoy our memes, and sense of humour. Metas are constantly shifting, and a lot of things in the game only work because that’s the way it’s always been. For instance, pyre-fiends attack with magic-based melee. Which means it looks like he is hitting you, and has to be in melee distance to hit you. Someone’s going to have to tell you that you are bringing the wrong gear to fight pyre-fiends. You are most likely not going to figure that out on your own. You need to be involved somehow with others in the game. A lot of my childhood was just asking people how they made money, while never doing any of it. It didn’t help me then, but when I hit puberty and started hitting higher levels it started to make sense. You have to understand what people are doing in the world around you. It’s a player based economy so jobs (bosses/slayer tasks that give good drops) are constantly evolving, and dying.
Still too much?
If you need a more guided or limited approach to get your feet wet there are different game modes you can play. Ironman mode being the main official game mode which prevents you from trading with players in any form or fashion to the extent of preventing the ironman from getting a drop, even if someone only did 1 damage to that monster. There are also unofficial “game modes” that the community developed.
Some of these are called ‘pures’ for PvP. What a pure does, is take advantage of the algorithm that determines your combat level. They want to maximize DPS while remaining as low level as possible to get the best advantage. This naturally made different pure builds, and different level brackets that people like to pk in.
For example, a ‘zerker’ pure is one who stops at 45 defences. Why? Because he can get this level without training it from quests. These quests also give perks, like best in slot gloves, and a spell that lets you reflect 75% of the damage of the next attack back at the other monster/player. This account build with all melee, ranged, and mage skills (besides defence of course) will be around level 90, while a maxed account is 126. They have virtually the same DPS, where in pvp situations a zerker pure can easily defeat a maxed account. The only downside, of course, is the lack of options for armour, making you a glass cannon.
There are also non-combat pures, which don’t train combat at all and instead seek the goal of gaining 99 stats in all skills. This is a respectable way to play but is a lot less common these days.
If everything fails
Honestly, if you just feel like the games not for you, you could always try Runescape 3. The game itself is great in its own right. It does have microtransactions, while Old School Runescape doesn’t. Kind of… (bonds are membership tokens that can be bought for $5, then sold in-game for 6-8m GP, or used for two weeks membership)
Runescape 3 though will have everything you expect from your generic MMO and is coming to Mobile soon. If you enjoy Wow, or Guildwars you will probably enjoy this as a mobile game. It still has bits and pieces of the charm that Runescape once had, but a lot of us veteran Old School Runescape players can’t get a sour taste out of our mouths. The reason we have the 75% poll rate on Old School is due to a long history of developers not listening to players and releasing updates, and micro-transactions that to the active player base at the time changed the game into something unrecognizable. But you where never apart of any of that, so it won’t bother you.
Come by and join the circle jerk sometime soon!